Typhoon Nancy (1961)

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Super Typhoon Nancy
Category 5 super typhoon (SSHWS)
Super Typhoon Nancy 61.JPG
A radar image of Nancy
Formed September 7, 1961
Dissipated September 22, 1961
( Extratropical after September 16)
Highest winds 1-minute sustained:345 km/h (215 mph)
Lowest pressure 882 hPa (mbar); 26.05 inHg
Fatalities 172–191 direct
Damage $500 million (1961 USD)
Areas affected Guam, Ryūkyū Islands, Japan
Part of the 1961 Pacific typhoon season

Super Typhoon Nancy, also known as the 2nd Muroto Typhoon(第二室戸台風,Daini-muroto Taifū), was an extremely powerful tropical cyclone of the 1961 Pacific typhoon season and one of the most intense tropical cyclones on record. The system possibly had the strongest winds ever measured in a tropical cyclone, tied with Hurricane Patricia of 2015. It caused extensive damage and at least 173 deaths and thousands of injuries in Japan and elsewhere in September 1961. Nancy also holds the record for the most consecutive time of a Category 5 tropical cyclone.

1961 Pacific typhoon season typhoon season in the Pacific Ocean

The 1961 Pacific typhoon season had no official bounds; it ran year-round in 1961, but most tropical cyclones tend to form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean between June and December. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Hurricane Patricia Category 5 Pacific hurricane in 2015

Hurricane Patricia was the second-most intense tropical cyclone on record worldwide, behind Typhoon Tip in 1979, with a minimum atmospheric pressure of 872 mbar. Originating from a sprawling disturbance near the Gulf of Tehuantepec, south of Mexico, in mid-October 2015, Patricia was first classified a tropical depression on October 20. Initial development was slow, with only modest strengthening within the first day of its classification. The system later became a tropical storm and was named Patricia, the twenty-fourth named storm of the annual hurricane season. Exceptionally favorable environmental conditions fueled explosive intensification on October 22. A well-defined eye developed within an intense central dense overcast and Patricia grew from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in just 24 hours—a near-record pace. On October 23, the hurricane achieved its record peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 215 mph (345 km/h). This made it the most intense tropical cyclone on record in the Western Hemisphere, and the strongest globally in terms of 1-minute maximum sustained winds.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Contents

Meteorological history

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir-Simpson scale Nancy 1961 track.png
Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

A tropical depression formed from a low near Kwajalein Atoll on September 7. It strengthened rapidly; by the time position fixes could be taken, Nancy was nearly a super typhoon. Moving gradually westward, Nancy explosively deepened and reached wind speeds equivalent to a Category 5 (Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale) on September 9. [1] It would maintain that intensity for the next several days.

Kwajalein Atoll atoll

Kwajalein Atoll is part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The southernmost and largest island in the atoll is named Kwajalein Island, which its majority English-speaking residents often called by the shortened name, Kwaj. The total land area of the atoll amounts to just over 6 square miles (16 km2). It lies in the Ralik Chain, 2,100 nautical miles (3900 km) southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Shortly after reaching peak intensity, Nancy approached the Ryūkyū Islands and began turning. It passed near Okinawa and over Haze. The ridge steering Nancy broke down, and the typhoon turned sharply and headed towards Japan. Nancy made landfall as a strong typhoon on September 16 as it passed directly over Muroto Zaki. Nancy made a second landfall on Honshū near Osaka. The typhoon rapidly traveled up the length of the island as it continued accelerating, eventually reaching a forward speed of 65 mph (100 km/h, 55  knots). [2] The typhoon quickly crossed over Hokkaidō before entering the Sea of Okhotsk as a tropical storm. Nancy went extratropical on September 17. The extratropical system eventually crossed over Kamchatka and entered the open ocean. [3]

Ryukyu Islands A chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan

The Ryukyu Islands, also known as the Nansei Islands or the Ryukyu Arc, are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands, with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are mostly high islands and the smaller mostly coral. The largest is Okinawa Island.

Muroto, Kōchi City in Shikoku, Japan

Muroto is a city located in Kōchi Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on March 1, 1951.

Osaka Designated city in Kansai, Japan

Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million inhabitants. Osaka will host Expo 2025. The current mayor of Osaka is Hirofumi Yoshimura.

Impact

Although no monetary value of all damage is known, damage was "phenomenal" [2] in all areas where Nancy hit. There were at least 173 deaths and 19 people unaccounted for.

Guam

On Guam, over half of all crops were destroyed by heavy winds and rain. A total of $40,000 (1961 USD) worth of damage was done to roads on the island. Most of the damage was on the southern end of the island. No deaths were reported on Guam. [2]

Guam Island territory of the United States of America

Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States in Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean. It is the easternmost point and territory of the United States, along with the Northern Mariana Islands. The capital city of Guam is Hagåtña and the most populous city is Dededo. The inhabitants of Guam are called Guamanians, and they are American citizens by birth. Indigenous Guamanians are the Chamorros, who are related to other Austronesian natives of Eastern Indonesia and Philippines and Taiwan. Guam has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983.

United States dollar Currency of the United States of America

The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent (¢) units, but is occasionally divided into 1000 mills (₥) for accounting. The circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars.

Japan

In Japan, 172 people were killed, 18 were missing, and 3,184 people were injured. These totals made Nancy the sixth-deadliest typhoon to hit Japan at the time. Timely warnings and adequate preparations were probably responsible for the relatively low death toll. The damage was "small" relative to other typhoons that impacted densely populated areas of Japan. [2]

Hundreds of thousands of people had their lives disrupted. Super typhoon Nancy destroyed 11,539 houses, damaged 32,604 homes, and flooded 280,078 others. Although the exact number may never be known, the Stars and Stripes reported in late September that over 1,056 ships and fishing vessels were sunk or blown ashore and many more were damaged. [2]

Floodwaters washed away 566 bridges and caused 1146 landslides. Roads were destroyed at a total of 2,053 locations. [2] Damages in Osaka amounted to $500 million (1961 USD). [4]

On Okinawa, low-lying areas experienced heavy flooding, which did significant damage to agriculture and structures. [2] On Amami-o-Shima, one person was missing and another was badly injured. A ship was sunk. Extensive flooding of crops and houses left 152 people homeless. [2]

Due to Nancy's damage and death toll, the Japan Meteorological Agency named Nancy the "Second Muroto Typhoon". Nancy is one of only eight typhoons to receive special names in Japan.

Records

A reconnaissance aircraft flying into the typhoon near its peak intensity on September 12 determined Nancy's one-minute sustained winds to be 185 knots (215 mph; 345 km/h). If these values are reliable, they would be the highest wind speeds ever measured in a tropical cyclone. [5] However, it was later determined that measurements and estimations of wind speeds from the 1940s to 1960s were excessive. Thus, Nancy's winds may actually be lower than its official best-track value. [5] In 2016, reanalysis of Hurricane Patricia noted that the storm had the same sustained winds as Nancy, the highest on record in the Western Hemisphere. [6]

Although the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS) did not exist at the time, Nancy would have been a Category 5 equivalent for a total of five and a half days (or 132 hours), assuming the wind speed data are reliable. If so, this is the record for the Northern Hemisphere and more than a day longer than the runner-up system, 1962's Typhoon Karen. [7]

See also

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Typhoon Judy (1982) Pacific typhoon in 1982

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Typhoon Forrest (1983) Pacific typhoon in 1983

Typhoon Forrest, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ising, was the third-most intense typhoon on record, behind Typhoon Tip of 1979 and Typhoon June of 1975. Forrest was also the fastest-intensifying tropical cyclone on record, with its minimum barometric pressure dropping from 976 millibars to 876 millibars—a drop of 100 millibars—from September 22 to September 23, less than a day. Forrest affected Japan in September 1983 and formed from a tropical disturbance far from land in the western Pacific Ocean. On September 20, the system was classified as a tropical storm, and thereafter began to intensify. The next day, Forrest reached typhoon status, and the intensification process accelerated. The storm prudently strengthened on September 22, and the following morning, attained peak intensity following a pressure drop of 100 mbar (3.0 inHg) in slightly less than 24 hours. Thereafter, Forrest began to weaken slowly as it moved northwest. Approaching Japan, Super Typhoon Forrest first hit Okinawa on September 27. Nearby, a tornado hit Inza Island, destroying 26 homes and injuring 26 people. Forrest then moved north, impaling the Japanese archipelago before transitioning into an extratropical cyclone on September 28. The torrential rainfall caused by the typhoon triggered deadly landslides and flooding across Japan. In all, the typhoon killed at least 21 people, left 17 listed as missing, and injured 86. Forrest flooded 46,000 homes in muddy water, over 100 dwellings were destroyed, and 2,560 people were rendered as homeless. Seven flights were called off and 27,000 people were stranded. In addition, 67 bridges and 818 roads were damaged.

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Typhoon Meranti Pacific typhoon in 2016

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Typhoon Dinah (1987)

Typhoon Dinah, known as Typhoon Luding in the Philippines, was the fourth typhoon to form during August 1987. An area of low pressure developed near Guam on August 19, and two days later, the low reached tropical storm intensity as it moved generally west. Intensification was initially gradual, with Dinah becoming a typhoon early on August 24 before it subsequently intensified at a faster pace. Dinah reached its highest strength on August 26 before turning northward on August 28 and into a less favorable conditions aloft, which prompted weakening. Dinah entered the Sea of Japan after passing near Okinawa on August 29, where Dinah leveled off in intensity. The system then began to recurve towards southwestern Japan, and after tracking through the area, Dinah transitioned into an extratropical cyclone on August 31, although the remnants could be traced for four more days as it approached the International Date Line.

References

  1. Unisys Tracking Data accessed March 7, 2006
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 JTWC Nancy Report Archived June 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine . accessed March 7, 2006
  3. Digital Typhoon: Typhoon list View accessed March 7, 2006
  4. David Longshore Encyclopedia of Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones pg. 233
  5. 1 2 NOAA Tropical Cyclone FAQ Subject E1 Archived December 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine . accessed March 7, 2006
  6. Feltgen, Dennis (February 4, 2016). "Tropical Cyclone Report for 2015's Hurricane Patricia Released" (PDF) (Press release). National Hurricane Center . Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  7. NOAA Tropical Cyclone FAQ Subject E8 Archived May 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine . accessed March 7, 2006